Esure under pressure after lawyers change tactics

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Boss Stuart Vann said that although whiplash claims had been curbed by Government reforms, legal firms were now pushing claims for things like post-traumatic stress after accidents.

“Lawyers saw their income levels curtailed but have become more efficient, especially with consolidation in the industry.

“Tactics have adapted and we are seeing more things like psychiatric claims and previously straightforward cases now moving into litigation.”

Esure pre-tax profit fell 12.8% to £103.3 million last year with gross written premiums down 3.4% to £517.8 million as rates lagged claims inflation.

Profits were also hit by costs linked to esure’s £95 million takeover of price comparison site Gocompare.

The shares tumbled more than 7% to 216.3p.

The group is lowering its final dividend from 13.3p to 11.7p although its full-year payout rose from 15.8p to 16.8p. This means founder and chairman Peter Wood stands to make about £21 million this year.

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March 10, 2015 |
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